Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Max's Thoughts on World Hunger and Poverty

The following is a note from one of our students, a young man in the 10th grade named Max. He is being challenged to really live out his faith in a meaningful way. This is exactly why we do things like the 30 Hour Famine:

So recently (as in since the 30 hour famine at my church), I've been thinking a lot about world hunger and poverty. I feel like I'm finally beginning to comprehend what's really going on everywhere in the world...except here. Because like every year when we're preparing for the 30 hour famine, we just hear over and over "kids die every day of hunger" and "other countries are divided into classes and it's so unfair" and stuff like that. But for some reason, it has really made me think a lot recently.

Like it's just so hypocritical how I can stuff myself on Thanksgiving and say I'm a Christian. Aren't we as Christians supposed to feed the hungry, not just live in our bubble to please ourselves? And I'm just satisfying myself and going beyond what I need in order to be full just because I can. And like every day, I'll look through the cupboards for something to eat, and I'm not even hungry. And whatever I see I usually turn down because "I don't feel like having it right now". If people in, I don't know, Swaziland had all the variety that I had, they would be ecstatic. I just take it all for granted.

And grocery stores. I don't think I realize that I have so much because I'm so used to it. Do I ever wonder when my next meal will come? Do I ever question if the grocery store will be out of food next time I go there?

26,000 children die each day of hunger. That's a child dying every 3 seconds 24/7. And that doesnt't include adults or teenagers. How can I not be thinking about that constantly? Why am I not weeping for those children? Why don't I do something about it?

And just watching television disgusts me. There are all these advertisements for cars and crap like that. So many people around the world couldn't afford that no matter how they tried. And I'm worried that I won't be able to use one of our two cars when I get my license.

And I never wonder how we're going to pay for all our expenses. I know that the money comes from the two and a half solid jobs that my parents have. And we have tons of money leftover for so much extra. What do we mean when we say "money will be tight this month"? We can't go out to eat for a month? So many people around the world live on an incredible amount less than us. What if we just cut some more stuff out? It's so unfair how children in Africa have to go work in the fields at the age of 5. And many girls become prostitutes at 8 or 9 just so they can make money to live. Then that just helps spread HIV.

Then I start thinking: Why was I born in America, the richest country ever? It was only by chance that I happened to be born here. Only 300 million people live here. There were like 200 other countries I could have been born into. I don't think I realize how lucky I am.

So I encourage you guys to think about and pray for the rest of the world. Because we DO live in a big, sheltered bubble. And there's so much bad stuff that we don't even know about in the rest of the world. Realize that we are very blessed indeed and that God will expect us to use the situations he's given us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and tell others about Jesus.

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